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Old 01-25-2010, 01:09 AM   #1
bluskies bluskies is offline
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Default Metropolis (1927) - I'm totally confused about what its running time will be?

I am wondering how long the restored Metropolis is supposed to be when it comes out?

I've read various things:

Most reports say that the print that was found in Buenos Aires in 2008 has about 30 minutes of missing scenes.

Turner Classic movies says in one article, "This nearly complete copy of Lang’s 204-minute original now stands as the authoritative version of the film, according to the Murnau Foundation..."

Another source says Lang's film original was about 2 and a half hours before it was cut, and since the recent version was about 120 minutes, so with the return of the 30 minutes found in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2008, it will be 2 1/2 hrs.

And then Wikipedia says, "On January 10, 1927, a 153 minute version of the film premiered in Berlin with moderate success." So where are people getting 204??? And yet, in the same Wikipedia article it says, "On July 1, 2008, film experts in Berlin announced that a 16 mm reduction negative of the original cut of the film, which runs over 210 minutes in length and features many lost scenes, had been discovered in the archives of the Museo del Cine (a film museum) in Buenos Aires."

If 210 minutes was correct, then that would be 90 minutes more than the 2001 restored version, not 30 as keeps getting mentioned. 210 minutes equals three and a half hours, not two and a half as is claimed as what was originally premiered in Berlin.

Do you see why I am confused? Somewhere, somebody is wrong about something.

Last edited by bluskies; 01-25-2010 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:36 AM   #2
repete66211 repete66211 is offline
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I see why you're confused. I too heard the missing footage came in around 30 minutes. I have no idea where people are getting their numbers. It wasn't uncommon to cut a movie being exported to another country, at times even dramatically altering the story, so who knows how many versions of any given movie exist. We'll just have to wait and see what comes out.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:47 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, running time doesn't always mean much with silent films on DVD. They were originally meant to be projected at a slower frame rate (frames per second) than modern films. That's why people sometimes think of silents as being fast moving and jerky -- they've seen them being projected at a faster speed than they were shot at.

Before Kino put it out, there were many public-domain versions of Metropolis on the market of varying times, but a lot of the difference came from the speed they were run at, not necessarily the amount of footage included
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieray1 View Post
Unfortunately, running time doesn't always mean much with silent films on DVD. They were originally meant to be projected at a slower frame rate (frames per second) than modern films. That's why people sometimes think of silents as being fast moving and jerky -- they've seen them being projected at a faster speed than they were shot at.

Before Kino put it out, there were many public-domain versions of Metropolis on the market of varying times, but a lot of the difference came from the speed they were run at, not necessarily the amount of footage included
But it is the Kino restored version that runs about 120 minutes. So with 30 more minutes, that would be close to the original premiere 153 minutes. That's still only 2 1/2 hours. To get that 3 1/2 hours running time, or 210 being spoken of now, then they must be running the film really slowly.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:52 PM   #5
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The film runs at a much faster framerate than the conventional 24 fps that we know of today. Those longer numbers are probably from a 24 fps copy. I would expect that Kino will release, regardless of the running time, the complete footage (if they release it at all, considering another source says it's near unusable) in the correct frame rate of something around 18 or 19 if I remember correctly.


This has been a problem with this film (as well as other silents) for years. I would worry less about the running time than the content and quality of the new scenes.
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieray1 View Post
Unfortunately, running time doesn't always mean much with silent films on DVD. They were originally meant to be projected at a slower frame rate (frames per second) than modern films.
charlieray is correct. Everytime a major silent film comes out, the hardcore silent film fans are always in discussion of a running time a film is and the speed. Especially when Criterion released "Pandora's Box" several years ago.

Personally, I can't wait to watch the restored footage of "Metropolis" and I am looking forward to Kino bringing it out.


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Old 01-25-2010, 08:22 PM   #7
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http://forum.blu-ray.com/insider-dis...ml#post2825486
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:34 PM   #8
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I can't imagine what the converstations have been like concerning Napoleon and Greed.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:59 PM   #9
Torsten Kaiser TLE Torsten Kaiser TLE is offline
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Two things:
1 - Metropolis was NOT restored by KINO. Kino is just the US distributor of the film, nothing more; they had no part in the restoration which was originally done by Martin Koerber and Enno Patalas in Germany, after decades (especially Patalas) of "search & rescue". The digital restoration was made initially by ALPHA/OMEGA with the 16mm part AFAIK done by the Murnau Foundation.

2 - Metropolis ran 4189 meters at its Berlin premiere in 1927, and was accompanied by a VERY specific score by Gottfried Huppertz, which made the film run @25fps all the way through. It is, in that way, pretty unique, if not an "oddball" as most features released in that late period of Silient Film were running at either close to 22fps or 24fps. So 25fps was pretty fast, but from the censor cards, the score and the footage found until 2001 clearly Lang's intention.
I do not know how on earth TCM arrived at 204 Minutes running time, but this is badly researched and nothing more than a myth. And, as the guard says in ALIEN3: "This is rumour control - here are the facts!!" - here is what the censor cards tell:

Projected at 25fps, METROPOLIS ran in 1927 (at its premiere) almost 147 minutes. This was confirmed by observations of people present at the premiere at the time. Later that summer, it was cut down for general release to 114 minutes, only to be cut down again by its American distributors, to almost 90. As of 2001, Martin Koerber and Enno Patalas restored most of the picture, with much of the (various) original camera negative elements included, raising the level of quality substantially - however, some 40 minutes were still missing - bringing their restoration to 118 Minutes. Now, just shy of 10 years later, the found footage completes the film almost to its entirety except for 240 meters - so the film will run on Feb 12, 2010 at the BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL some 139 Minutes. I hope this lifts the veil of confusion.
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Last edited by Torsten Kaiser TLE; 01-27-2010 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:14 PM   #10
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Thanks for all that great info, Torsten! Metropolis is my favorite silent film and I can't wait until it gets released on Blu-Ray.

Greg
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:59 PM   #11
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Amazing post thank you.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:33 PM   #12
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I like the one that came out in the 80's? with the modern soundtrack....but that's just me.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:54 AM   #13
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I would love to have Greed on blu. Now if some had salted away the entire film, which I think is about 8 hrs that would be a miracle to witness.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:22 AM   #14
bluskies bluskies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torsten Kaiser TLE View Post
Two things:
1 - Metropolis was NOT restored by KINO. Kino is just the US distributor of the film, nothing more; they had no part in the restoration which was originally done by Martin Koerber and Enno Patalas in Germany, after decades (especially Patalas) of "search & rescue".
Torsten, thank you for your detailed explanation.

I would like to make it clear that I didn't mean to imply that Kino had done the restoration of the 2001 version. When I said the "Kino restored version," I was basically trying to say in shorthand "the restored version that Kino was selling." If I had meant that Kino had restored it, I would have said the "Kino-restored version." Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Last edited by bluskies; 01-28-2010 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluskies View Post
Torsten, thank you for your detailed explanation.
+1

Metropolis is an epic silent, and definitely holds a spot in my Top 10 of All-Time. A great film deserves a great transfer... crossing my fingers and looking forward to this one.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:32 AM   #16
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hope they include lossless accompaniment
Blu-Ray is so awesome! =)
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:29 PM   #17
mx5boi mx5boi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torsten Kaiser TLE View Post


Projected at 25fps, METROPOLIS ran in 1927 (at its premiere) almost 147 minutes. As of 2001, Martin Koerber and Enno Patalas restored most of the picture however, some 40 minutes were still missing - bringing their restoration to 118 Minutes.
Great reply (in fact amazing), but I am a little confused on the math.
Orig: 147
Restored: 118 (but with 40 minutes still lost)
If they added the 40 minutes lost footage to a 118 minute restoration, that would make it 158 minutes (9 minutes longer than the original).

I know this post is a few years old now but I am hoping you are still around to clarify as I am currently collating all the information I can find on Metropolis for my own personal project.
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